Text as Father (Hardcover)

Paternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature (Buddhisms #9)

By Alan Cole

University of California Press, 9780520242760, 372pp.

Publication Date: August 29, 2005

List Price: 85.00*
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This beautifully written work sheds new light on the origins and nature of Mahayana Buddhism with close readings of four well-known texts—the Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, and Vimalakirtinirdesa. Treating these sutras as literary works rather than as straightforward philosophic or doctrinal treatises, Alan Cole argues that these writings were carefully sculpted to undermine traditional monastic Buddhism and to gain legitimacy and authority for Mahayana Buddhism as it was veering away from Buddhism’s older oral and institutional forms. His sophisticated and sustained analysis of the narrative structures and seductive literary strategies used in these sutras suggests that they were specifically written to encourage devotion to the written word instead of other forms of authority, be they human, institutional, or iconic.

About the Author

Alan Cole, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Lewis & Clark College, is author of Mothers and Sons in Chinese Buddhism (1998).

Praise For Text as Father: Paternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature (Buddhisms #9)

“An important and rewarding work that merits the attention of any serious scholar or student of Buddhist literature.”

— H-Net Reviews